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Center Column Archives
The International Cannabis and Hemp Exposition took place at the Cow Palace in Daly City on April 17th and 18th. The expo, which had the first permitted area for the use of medical marijuana, was the largest event of its kind to hit Northern California. Prominent members of the cannabis community discussed a wide-range of topics, however the main buzz, on and off stage, was the initiative to "legalize, control, and tax cannabis in California," which is to be decided by voters in the state during the November 2010 elections.
Roger Mentch, founding member of The Hemporium, a medical marijuana collective in Felton, says that protection for Santa Cruz patients, growers, caregivers, and collectives is long over due. He is helping to form a new chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) in Santa Cruz County to help bring together like minded people to have a voice regarding safe access to medical marijuana. Everyone is welcome to get involved and attend the first meeting on Thursday, April 22nd
from 7:15-8:45 at the Louden Nelson Center in Santa Cruz.
Four-Twenty (including 4:20, 420 and 4/20) has long been associated with marijuana use and marijuana activism. 4:20 is a time of day when people smoke marijuana. April 20th
has evolved into a counterculture holiday, known for large gatherings of people celebrating and consuming marijuana, a.k.a. cannabis. Thousands of people gather annually in Boston, Boulder, New York, Santa Cruz, Seattle and many other cities in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and elsewhere around the world.
Roger Mentch, founding member of The Hemporium, a Santa Cruz County medical marijuana collective located in Felton, has been met with more resistance. Santa Clara County recently incarcerated Mentch, as well as Laura Eldridge, a disabled patient. Mentch spent five months behind bars at Elmwood Jail in Milpitas. He has been out of state custody since August 2009, and his next court date is scheduled on Friday, March 19th
in San Jose. Mentch argues that he has been the victim of entrapment by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
On Tuesday, March 9th, the Santa Cruz City Council voted 6-0 to support a recommendation from the city staff which bans the opening of an additional medical marijuana dispensary in Santa Cruz. This was the first reading of the vote and there will be a second vote in two weeks to finalize the ruling. Under the new ordinance, the two existing medical marijuana dispensaries will be permitted to operate a cultivation facility up to 3,000 square feet, which must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
On Tuesday, February 9, police arrested Rick Morse, the owner of Med Mar, the last medical marijuana dispensary in the City of Fresno. Morse was arrested for violating a court order which closed about one dozen dispensaries in January.
The Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), a collective providing cannabis under California’s 1996 Compassionate Use Act (Prop. 215), along with the city and county of Santa Cruz, have reached a settlement in their unprecedented lawsuit against the federal government. WAMM's case was prompted by the US Drug Enforcement Administration's raid of their medicinal garden in Davenport on September 5, 2002, in which armed agents terrorized residents and patients, and seized more than 160 cannabis plants.